5 things to watch in Florida

It looks like Florida is going to potentially replace Ohio as the swing state that everyone cares about.  But thanks to Donald Trump accelerating the impending demographic apocalypse for the Republican Party (please note, I’m not a demographic absolutist that it’s going to swing everything for the Democratic Party).

  1. Presidential election: The Presidential election in Florida will become the ultimate swing state.  The electoral vote grab of 29 votes is extremely important for both the Democratic and the Republican Party.  Even though Florida is becoming less white and younger, it still remains a swing state as a number of transplants are moderates and trending conservatives.  The story to watch in Florida that could influence the election is the number of Puerto Rican migrants who have moved to Florida.  They could end up tipping the state and the election toward Clinton. According to Steve Schale who worked for Barack Obama, 2.5 million Floridians have already voted and the Republican Party probably has about a 10,000 vote lead.  We’ll know more after Halloween weekend (the weekend before Halloween)
  2. US Senate election: This election is getting a lot more press than it probably should because of the weird communication that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has largely decided to give up on the race (multiple times).  Marco Rubio is running for re-election against the Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.  Rubio was elected in 2010 (an actual wave election) with less than 50% of the vote because Charlie Crist switched parties and split the Democratic vote. Rubio jumped into the race late with a politically craven way of getting back into the election.  I say this as someone who likes Rubio (for the most part).  He has often been described as the most ambitious person political staffers have ever met. At any rate, the Florida Democratic Party and their bench is such a sad joke.  The two candidates who competed in the Florida Democratic primary were Patrick Murphy who basically got elected because he ran against an insane loon in Allen West and Alan Grayson, who by most accounts is not a good human.  There are lots of scandals coming out about Murphy, who I should note, was recruited personally by Joe Biden and the DSCC.  But he has not managed to put Rubio away.  In fact, he trails by quite a bit.  I don’t think Murphy is going to be able to win Florida barring a giant upset or Rubio running closer to Trump’s numbers than anything else.
  3. U.S. House of Representatives, Florida’s 13th Congressional District: Oh look, Charlie Crist found another office that he could run for.  I’m telling you the Florida Democratic Party and their bench is just terrible. In the few polls that have been made public, he has been polling pretty close to winning or winning against David Jolly, the Republican incumbent. This district has been moving more Democratic over the election cycle but incumbency has its own advantages.  Also, Crist isn’t the most popular guy in Florida.  As much as I don’t want to pay attention to Crist’s political career, I can’t take my eyes off of it.
  4. U.S. House of Representatives, Florida’s 26th Congressional District: Have I mentioned how terrible the Democratic Party’s bench is in Florida?  Garcia was potentially involved in a scandal back in 2014 and lost his bid for re-election because of it. And of course, it’s going to be brought up and just hammered home prior to election day.  Of course, in that same article, there are Washington insiders who think that Trump at the top of the ticket would flip the swing district away from fairly moderate Carlos Curbelo.  Like most scandal-ridden candidates, I’m excited to watch what happens.
  5. Florida Amendment 2: Florida is having another try at legalizing medical marijuana.  In 2014, 57.65% of voters voted in favor of medical marijuana but 60% is needed to be able to pass a Constitutional Amendment in Florida.  Have they done enough work to get it passed in 2016?  I believe a more Democratic electorate will give it a better shot of passing.